Create new related records WITHOUT giving the option to create new features in Collector

12-16-2015 09:19 AM
Status: Open
New Contributor III

I work for a water company and we are currently working on our winter hydrant inspections. I have created an awesome map in AGOL (thank you ESRI!) to log and store all of our maintenance duties performed at each hydrant (painting, inspection, flushing, etc). This new functionality is excellent and I look forward to seeing Collector evolve over time. I do currently have one complaint/suggestion:

It would be nice to be able to allow our operators all the options that they need to create and save new management records in our related table using Collector, without being given the option on the main screen to create new features. In this case, there is no need for an operator to add a hydrant to the database because every hydrant that is in the ground is already in the feature table. Its not a huge problem, but my guys do have a self-proclaimed tendency to fat-finger buttons and work their way into the furthest corners of our mobile apps by accident. It would make a big difference if the first screen in Collector didn't offer my operators the chance to "Collect New" a hydrant, but rather only showed the feature layer legend (or if it just popped up it's first menu based on a user selection of a feature in the feature layer).

Right now when sharing a shapefile as a Service to AGOL - under Feature Access - we are allowed to Create, Delete, Querey, Sync, and Update. When publishing a relationship we must select all 5 in order to allow for the functionality we need to meet Collector's relationship class requirements, and to see that pivotal "Add New" button at the bottom of the primary pop-up. Ultimately my suggestion would be to create the ability to separate the functionality of related tables and features (or feature to feature, table to table, etc) so that you could check on 10 boxes to achieve the same results currently supported - OR - only choose to query, sync, and update the feature layer attributes (hydrants) while choosing to access all 5 operations to update the related table (management records).

Although the service must be editable to allow the ESRI magic to work, you can set that layer to be NOT editable when making the map that Collector will use. Don't think that changes the button options in Collector though.

Although this may be true, unfortunately we need that layer to be editable when making the collector app in order to symbolize the layer differently based on an attribute field, as well as to update information about the feature. Please see this additional ESRI Idea for more:

I'm also looking for an option where I can create a relationship between a read-only feature layer and a related table.  Relationship classes require both layer and table to be editable.  I currently have to instruct my users to copy a field value from the layer attributes and paste it into the foreign key field in the related table.  I would prefer to add this relationship definition as part of the map configuration.

Hello Shelby,

Thank you for submitting this detailed idea! It looks like you want the ability to limit the types of editing (add/update/delete) on an individual feature layer, while maintaining separate editing permissions on a related table in the same service. Is this correct?

If so, I believe‌ is the other idea referenced in your previous comment. Please consider supporting this other idea if it sounds similar to the functionality you're looking for. Also, consider leaving a comment to share your use case and how this idea would help your projects.



by MVP Regular Contributor

It will be nice to have this feature realized in Collector for ArcGIS.

This is a MUST-HAVE feature for any assessment scenario: the locations of the subject being assessed are generated in a separate process by professionals, these are authoritative data which are strictly protected and not allowed to be changed by field workers, who are no experts in collecting spatial data but experts in their own business area like utility services, disaster relief, damage assessment of all sorts. The assessment forms are normally organised as the related tables for the feature layers (properties, business, pipelines, valves etc.) on the map.

I know we can disable editing for the feature layer in the web map to prevent it from being edited by the field workers. but this will disable editing for the attribute table of the feature layer, and in the attribute table we have some fields holding the information for the process of the assessment, and according to these information to symbolize our data.  so we need "update attribute only" setting for the feature layer to make dynamic symbolization possible.

Currently, in Collector, if we select "update attribute only" for the feature layer, all the related tables are read-only and we can only view the records in them. This is ... not very helpful.

We might be able to workaround this in some cases, but enable editing for related table while the feature server is "Update Attributes Only" should be the most straightforward solution.


I have a similar scenario:  We have a weed infestation layer in a read-only service and a weed spraying layer in an editable service.  I would like to use something like Intersecting Feature and Intersecting Count from the Attribute Assistant to help the user populate the infestation ID when they create a new weed spraying feature in Collector. Users in Collector can inspect the infestations, copy an infestation ID, and paste the ID in the new spraying feature, but this is prone to error.  I do not create a relationship class between these data because of the read-only requirement for infestations.


It would be nice to be able to edit the attributes of a feature service and still be able to add related records, without having to make the geometry editable also.


Ongoing field inspection of assets via a collector app.

Edit an attribute of a hosted feature service in AGOL to indicate some status change, WITHOUT geometry becoming active for edits.

Add a related record to a table describing inspection parameters. Thus allowing reports to be run on asset inspection history.

This is a similar idea to the The Hydrant Maintenance Inspection solution  just with the added ability to change hydrant colors (for example) via the collector app.


As our workforce expands, our clients and users are wanting to have multiple items for a single feature.  This is critical to mass acceptance of AGOL / ESRI mobile data collection and verification.  Please do make this a priority.


This improvement is necessary to maintain data integrity.. Please do make this a priority


This would enable us to deploy some much more flexible workflows through the web and Collector.

Even just the ability to selectively make the geometry on some feature classes within a feature service read only would help.